February 28, 2006

I Tried to Read a Book.

But I couldn't remember where the "on" switch was. And there's something wrong with the screen. Also, the copy is oriented incorrectly, and you have to hold the thing sideways.

Does anyone remember how this is done? I seem to remember using these things all the time . . . but they seem counter-intuitive now.

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A Quick Survey of Christians, and Others from Formatted Spiritual Traditions

Would it be dangerous or unfaithful of me to go to a palm reader? I should think it would be okay, if one didn't take it any more seriously than one took, say, reading a horoscope.

Show of hands, please.

(Dear Mom:

Stand down. You're an athiest, remember? It oughtn't to matter at all what I do in this regard. Not that I'm defensive, although I'm aware that I've disappointed you deeply by not joining the Church of There Isn't Anything.

Please know that I respect the spiritual traditons of No, No God Anywhere, Nosirree Bob.

Have you heard the one about the First Unitarian Church of Kensington?)

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I Wrote a "Road Trip" Story.

It starts on the East Coast, and ends on the West Coast. It's long and boring. It was rejected twice before I figured out that I should be submitting pieces I actually like to literary journals, so when the rejection slips come I can snap my fingers and condemn their shitty taste and inability to see my sheer fucking poetry-in-prose for what it is.

Turns out the way to write about a road trip is under stress and on the fly.

If today's the last day for a while, Harrell, you'd better make it good.

UPDATE: "You didn't tell me you were going to kill it!"

Silly me, thinking The Shape of Days would stay on the web, and simply not be updated. Oh, well. If you didn't read my link this morning, you're SOL. We can only hope you-know-who resurfaces someday, with more verbal crack.

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I Don't Want to Get Into a Cat Fight, Here.

But in my less-Christian moments I'd love to get this bitch a taste of her own medicine.

We got rid of slavery in the 19th Century; I wonder if the Middle East will manage it in the 21st. If so, it will be just as bloody a process.

The way a country treats women often tells you all you need to know about it: beyond that, the news rarely gets any better.

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It's Not That My Food Doesn't Talk To Me.

But it doesn't get this harsh.

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Broken Sprinklers

It's this weird thing that happens a couple of times a year. You know that stuff we use for plants?—the gardener sets it up so it pours up into the air, and comes down on the landscaping, and I guess it keeps everything healthy and cuts down on the risk of wildfires.

Well, once in a while I go outside and this stuff is like, everywhere. So I figure the sprinkler's broken and I should talk to the gardener so it will get fixed.

But then I get into my car, and it's like everyone's sprinklers are broken. I mean, the plant-food stuff is all over the place. Just rampant.

I mean, it's on the streets. In vacant lots. Like it's just coming out of the sky or something. The kooky thing is, it tends to get cold when this happens.

I'm afraid the gardener is going to charge us extra again to fix it, like he did last year. I'm not sure how he manages to fix all the neighborhood sprinklers at once, but he always manages to get it done sooner or later.

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Oh, Canada.

Its citizens are tired of getting more-timely health care for their pets than they are permitted to for themselves. And its Supreme Court just blew the lid off.

(Via Insty.)

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February 27, 2006

So, I Get a Call From Hog Beatty.

He's decided to bow to the cultural imperative of his Tribe, and start looking for a Jewish girl.

His most recent pitch was not 100% successful, since the girl—an Israeli—turned out to already have a boyfriend. Nonetheless, he liked her, and became friends with both her and the guy—who is also Israeli.

And now these two need help with a marketing piece, which already exists in Hebrew.

"She can send it to me in Hebrew," I tell him. "But it'll cost her more, since before I even start editing it I'll have to get Mr. Linguistics to translate it. Fortunately, I know he'll do it for a bottle of premium vodka, so I'll just add that cost to their bill."

"Okay, then," he replies. "I'll give her your number, and you can all work it out. Just one thing."

"Yeah?" I'm getting impatient, of course, as he pauses. And then:

"Don't let them Jew you down on the price."

Now if a fellow Anglo-Saxon had said such a thing, I'd probably be furious—depending on how they meant it. But I busted up.

Context is everything, no?

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Ohio Debates Gay Adoption,

and Goldstein recommends that they keep it civil.

Though I must say my reaction to the idea of barring gays, bisexuals, TS's, etc from adoption was that it truly was "homophobic."

Still, Jeff has a point: debate the thing on its merits. Engage.

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I don't mind sexy dreams, and I don't mind violent ones, but I hate it when the two happen at the same time.

And the tenor of the sexy dreams has changed so much that I wonder if the alterations in my hormonal cocktail, post-40, have some bearing. In particular, I wonder whether my testosterone levels are going up. As a chick I associate estrogen low points with bitchiness and the desire to snipe at those around me. Sex is usually the farthest thing from my mind at such times.

Then the estrogen comes back, life is beautiful, and I have that "happy, horny" week.

With Prozac in the mix I can weather that estrogen drop a bit better. But there are moments that I'm convinced my dreams are giving me a vision of a more masculine sexual drive than I ever had when I was young. As a kid (teens, 20s, 30s) my sex dreams featured individuals. Now there are, um, more individuals. And not all have such distinct faces, characters, and identities. They feel like the dreams of a 17-year-old boy.

And I know hormonal interactions are a lot more complicated than estrogen vs. testosterone, but I slept late that week in physiology class, so I don't remember them all and I'm operating on yin-yang caricatures.

Still: a friend of mine had a daughter who went through a gender-identity crisis, and eventually elected to become a man. As she started the testosterone shots, she—he—called dad up to say, "I had no idea what you've been coping with all these years. I am unbelievably horny and restless."

Bottom line: by the time I'm done with menopause, my male characters will be the envy of my writer's group.

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February 26, 2006

I Went Into Yet More Husband Debt Tonight

. . . to watch the DVD of Shattered Glass. I remember hearing the movie discussed in my publishing group when it first came out, though when the original scandal broke I was helping Attila the Hub with his indie comedy, and I only heard the story in snippets, without looking into it much.

Naturally, when Jayson Blair was exposed, it renewed interest in the Stephen Glass saga because of the overlap in the two situations.

Overall, it was very nicely done. Naturally, I was torn up to watch Michael Kelly portrayed on film; afterward, the husband and I started swapping quotes from our favorite Michael Kelly columns (his: the parody of Al Gore's childhood, spent splitting rails in the farm on the top floor of a five-star hotel in Washington, D.C.; mine: the piece about the chilling effect the Bush Administration was having on free speech, that ends up as a laundry list of political voices in this country—from mainstream papers through niche publications and on down to the blogs that were just becoming popular at that time).

This flick explains how Hayden Christensen ended up playing Darth Vader. Not very well, of course: it's like getting the guy who portrayed a terrific Judas taking on the part of Satan. Wrong freakin' fall from grace, guys. For the Star Wars prequels, more of an epic feel was needed. (Although with Lucas' dialogue, it might not have made much of a difference to get the right actor in that role: it was sort of Dick and Jane in the Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

But, Shattered Glass. Depressing, of course, on a certain level. There are magazines I worked at where one might be able to get by with some fabrication (though perhaps not the level Glass managed), and magazines where one definitely couldn't. Hint: the process is more rigorous at publications that have research departments, versus those that simply direct the copy editors to work overtime, verifying the spellings of proper nouns and checking on people's titles.

I've worked at magazines wherein the only things that really got checked were the sidebars that had contact information for companies and organizations. After all, it's important that advertisers be able to sell things to the readers. Who do you think pays for all those glossy pictures? And that (usually crappy) coated stock they're printed on? Four-color photography doesn't grow on trees, you know. (At least, it didn't before the internet became ubiquitous.)

Can't we all just be honest, here? A lot of magazines are just picture books for older kids (kids in their 30s/40s/50s/60s, a lot of the time). The actual text doesn't get the attention it deserves because visually driven editors can't convince themselves—deep down—that anyone actually reads this stuff. They figure that at most it gets skimmed. What are a few typos and awkward phrases between friends?

But Shattered Glass isn't about journalistic ethics. Nor is it about partying at CPAC, though it was nice to see how creative that old libel was—and how stale the stereotypes were of young conservatives in "Spring Breakdown." (It turns out they're sexists! Imagine! I'm still looking for a version of that story online; if anyone is in journalism class and knows where to find it, let me know. The snippets I've seen quoted are hilarious.)

The whole tale is a tragedy, and Christensen shows us a con man who exploits his youthful looks as part of his act. But Peter Sarsgaard really steals the movie. He's something special, and I wish I were willing to see Jarhead in order to watch him develop as an actor. I'm not, of course.

The movie is about what happens in the human soul when it isolates itself. It's how a person might behave—did behave—when he becomes addicted to the adulation and approval of others. And we're all capable of this: placing the need for strokes above the need to make true connections.

Everyone has to come out of the cave sometime. Try it—and leave your ego inside, okay?

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Last Few Days

. . . to catch Shape of Days, before Harrell takes a breather to learn his new job.

He tells us to get our blog on while we still can. And, being from Texas, he thinks Virginia is mountainous; he should see the Sierra Nevadas. That's some topography for you there, Buddy.

Via con Dios, Jeff. I always knew you had guts.

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Remember, Dad:

Much as you might be tempted to, don't fall down and worship the marketing materials I dropped off on your doorstep. It's against the Ten Commandments, after all.

And no more rush jobs, okay? It interrupts my indolence. I came awfully close to having to work on that project, which of course makes me quake in fear.

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Bad Lefties. No Civil War for You. At Least, Not Yet.

Though the woods are lovely—dark and deep.

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Really. Be Honest.

Isn't life delicious?

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February 25, 2006

I'd Just Like to Announce

. . . that I'm not in the mood to finish the brochures and other promotional whatnot for my father's business.

And the fact that they are due tomorrow doesn't really change that.

The mood thing, I mean.

Perhaps I could trick myself: you know. "Whatever you do, Joy, don't proofread that marketing material for Dad. And if you really, really must do that, don't make sure they'll print correctly. Whatever you do. That would be very wicked indeed."

Surely there's a fence around here I could whitewash . . . now that would be a good time.

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Marshall Runs One of My Favorite Cartoons

from those on the front lines of the Cartoon War.

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Buckley Buckles on the Iraq War.

And Goldstein tells him, in the most respectful way, to buck up.

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Ian Schwarz

. . . has video of Christopher Hitchens' speech at the Danish Embassy in Washington, D.C., where a peaceful demonstration was held in support of those who uphold free speech. (Note to Angelenos: I'd love to see these held on Fridays in our fair town—possibly in front of the Federal Building near UCLA, where we do all our most fashionable protests.)

Hitchens remarked that if time permitted, they should march to the Iraqi Embassy, to support the government there and condemn the saboteurs who bombed the Shia Shrine. It's a lovely thought.

My favorite pic from Schwarz' post, featuring a sign made out of Legos:


Insty's main roundup is here, and he runs this pic, among others:


And elsewhere Glenn runs an update, which documents the presence of Danishes among the supporters of Danes:


Malkin also has some links.

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Nobody Tells Me Jack.

I had no idea Venomous Kate had a regular column up over at Wizbang! Cool stuff.

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February 24, 2006

Am I the Only Californian

. . . who didn't even know we had levees here? Well, of course we must: how else could we steal water for agriculture in the Central Valley? But other than that "keep the produce coming; I like water; faster, please" attitude, I hadn't thought much about how we actually channel the stuff. Stupid of me, really.

Arnold knew, though. Along with Crime-Fightin' Feinstein, who co-signed his letter asking for Federal funds. (No. Thanks for asking: I'll never forgive her for tipping off the Nightstalker when he was in SF. What a stupid woman; Ramirez' victims deserved better than that.)

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Now These People

are the ones who need the fucking Prozac.

Or a little lead poisoning; one of the two.

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Harrell Sums Up

. . . the Port Deal Controversy.

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So Stick That in Your Transmogrifier

. . . and parse it.

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This Is an Idea . . .

whose time has come.

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So I Ran Out of Prozac.

And I've been too depressed to get more.

Send me some SSRIs, stat.

I wonder if the PayPal button will work for pharmaceuticals. It should, you know; I would think drugs would be a perfectly acceptable way to tip a blogger. A good entry would go for some bud. A really funny one would get me a week's worth of Prozac. Something truly provocative would net me a few Ambien 10s, and if I hit it out of the park, you PayPal me a few Tylenol 3s to help me batten down the hatches next time I have a bad period. Next person to choose me as his/her blog-crush can buy me a little Tanqueray. Tanqueray 10 if you've convinced yourself you're in love with me.

This is a workable system.

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About That Civil War in Iraq . . .

don't count your broken omelet eggs before they're hatched. Or something.

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February 23, 2006

Nice Little Discussion.

It's happening at Krempasky's blog, and (primarily) at On Tap. Krempasky postulates:

Traditional (read: career) reporters who have never had a “run-in” with bloggers are a lot like the wide-eyed college kid who still drinks tequila.

Traditional reporters who have had that “run in” tend to become one of two people:

1. The cautious but respectful one that realizes that there’s fire in that there bottle. One? Two? No problem. Life of the party and all that. Five? Call your office, you won’t be in today.

2. The villain at the end of every Scooby Doo episode shaking his fist at the sky (or in handcuffs) saying, “if it wasn’t for those damn kids . . . ”

[Yes, everyone. I fixed a typo in the quote. I really can't help myself, okay? Get off my back. I didn't change "damn" to "stupid," so I'm not wearing my fact-checking hat. But the proofreading one is permanently attached to my head.]

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Tomorrow, 12:00 noon. Washington, D.C.


Update, Feb. 22: Thank you all who've written. Please be outside the Embassy of Denmark, 3200 Whitehaven Street (off Massachusetts Avenue) between noon and 1 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 24. Quietness and calm are the necessities, plus cheerful conversation. Danish flags are good, or posters reading "Stand By Denmark" and any variation on this theme (such as "Buy Carlsberg/ Havarti/ Lego") The response has been astonishing and I know that the Danes are appreciative. But they are an embassy and thus do not of course endorse or comment on any demonstration. Let us hope, however, to set a precedent for other cities and countries. Please pass on this message to friends and colleagues.

It would be lovely to see this in other cities as well. Perhaps it should be in every city, on every Friday at noon. But if you're in the D.C. area, please consider going, for it is certainly happening there.

Via Foster.

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The Port Issue

As usual, Malkin is able to make a cogent-sounding—yet somehow still unpersuasive—case for the DPW deal being an unwarranted risk. But at least we can't accuse her of not having enough information on it: go to her site, and you may drown in data. (Not all of it helpful, mind you: but it does contain facts, which we could all use more of.)

Via commenter Jack, though I should have realized Malkin would be a treasure-trove on this.

Contrariwise, Hackbarth has an update on senatorial self-importance in this arena.

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With writer's group looming tonight, I look at all the raw material I have in my files. As usual, every single thing I've ever written sucks. If it doesn't suck, I've already read it aloud in group and received the usual critiques ("less dialogue, please" "is that really autobiographical? You're a fucking freak, aren't you?" "Your fiction has too many characters in it, and I can't keep 'em straight." "Do you ever think of anything other than sex?" [Answers: fuck off, yes, fuck off, no]).

I should read from my Big-Ass Crime Novel, but that sucks more than usual this week. In desperation, I turn to an embryonic piece I've had on the back burner for a while about triangle relationships in my teenage years. I start to flesh it out, and end up with something I'm (just barely) willing to read tonight. Presumably that will end up being part of my looming semi-autobiographical flim-flam.

But at least I'm not writing poetry any more, which is a step up. I think.

When all else fails, I metaphorically take off my clothes: the story begins with my feelings about jealousy, and a few snapshots from times I felt it very strongly. I'm not discussing envy, here: I'm talking about jealousy, when you desire attention from someone who's enraptured by another person. It's an amazing feeling, because it's so purely an expression of id. And it's the most bald-faced liar of any emotion: what else can make you murderous at the same time you feel disempowered and insignificant?

When I shut off the computer in relief to make myself my eighteenth cup of tea for the day, I think about the songs I've heard that have tried to capture not just the pain of jealousy, but its ugliness as well. How do you write about an experience so universal, so painful, and so prone to transform the sufferer into a complete monster?

The partial green-eyed discography:

• "Jealous Again," The Black Crowes
• "Alison," Elvis Costello
• "Jealousy," by the Gin Blossoms, which conveys the energy, but not necessarily the excruciating pain of the experience.
• "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" Joe Jackson
• that Marianne Faithfull song "Why D'ya Do It?" which documents the ugliness of jealousy, but fails IMHO because it becomes ugly itself.
• "Jealous Again," Black Flag
• the Alannis Morissette song "You Oughta Know." This might be the best effort: it's got plenty of energy, which—say what you migh—jealousy will give you, though I don't mean that in a good way. ("Will she go down on you in a theater?" "And every time I run my fingers down his back, I hope you feel it—yeah, do you feel it?")
• The Pursuit of Happiness' "It's Hard to Laugh" ("You have to laugh to prevent yourself from cryin'").
• "Jealousy" by Queen; one of the reflective, mournful takes.
• "I Want You," by Elvis Costello, which is quiet and reflective, but no less intense than tunes with lots of drums and bass. It tears my heart out every time I hear it. ("I want to hear the things you do that we did, too . . . were you fool enough to love it when you heard him say, 'I want you'?")

Did your id ever lie to you more than when you were jealous? And how did you come to terms with the situation?

Do you know anyone who escaped this?—and did they really, or did they just learn to lie and pretend they were above it?

How ugly did you get when you were jealous? What's the worst thing you've ever done under its influence? (No criminal confessions, please. Don't make me call the cops or anything like that.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:29 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Respecting My Husband's Incorrect Choices

I managed to commandeer Attila the Hub's laptop computer for a while today until I made up with my own. And I would like full credit for not fixing his browser bookmarks, which are all wrong (also, there aren't enough of them; if you don't have to scroll for five minutes, you don't have enough).

I'd also like full credit for not fixing the pre-sets on his radio when I borrow his car. Those are likewise not as they should be.

Question: What went wrong? Why don't I rule the world? I could save all of you a lot of decision-making time on these issues. You'd actually find it rather liberating.

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The Bombing of the Shia Shrine

This is some fucked-up shit. Omar at Iraq the Model has the local scoop:

• President Talabani promises to make rebuilding the shrine his personal responsibility and to donate the required money from his own.

• Head of the Sunni endowment sheikh Ahmed al-Samarra'I announces that he will allocate 2 billion dinars (~1.4 million $) for the rebuilding of the shrine from the treasury of the Sunni endowment.

• Huge demonstrations in many of Iraq's provinces including Samarra and Mosul where thousands of people condemned the attack.

• The top 4 Shia Ayatollahs hold a meeting at Sistani's home to discuss the situation.

• The Association of Muslim scholars and the Islamic Party condemn the "criminal act".

• Retaliatory attacks on reportedly 29 Sunni mosques and the Accord Front warns from the consequences of such violent reactions.

He also points out that it's very unlikely that Sunnis in Samorra were behind the attack, since the shrine has been there for a very long time, and Shia pilgramages to it help the local economy.

It really looks like this is another present to the Iraqis from the insurgent outsiders who are there to "help" (read: destroy the country).

But when the Ayatollah Sistani calls for protests, the situation is very dire.

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February 22, 2006

The Ports Deal

Sean basically has this one right: there aren't a lot of good solid arguments against the DPW running our ports. I'm also hearing a lot of "ick, Arabs" stuff that's pretty offensive.

Remember, folks: if we turn into a nation of bigots, the terrorists will abso-fuckin'-lutely have won.

UPDATE: David Foster of Photon Courier and Chicago Boyz is smarter than I am (which is offensive to me, but he doesn't seem to do it on purpose) and he responds in my comments:

Remember, ports are used for export as well as import (as hard as this is to remember sometimes) What happens if we need this export capacity in support of a major military operation?...and the government in question disapproves of the operation and decides to shut down the ports? We will have just lost a huge % of our total outbound freight capacity, until we can take control and reorganize things.

This is not a theoretical objection. Already, during the current Iraq war, a European company refused to supply JDAM missile parts on grounds that its country was a neutral in that war.

At a bare minimum, the company and the government should be required to post a surety bond, forfeitable in event of nonperformance as described above, of such magnitude that its loss would bankrupt the company and take a major chunk of of the hide of the government.

And Yolanda adds:

The UAE has not done much to vociferously support America in front of its citizens, nor does it forcefully condemn acts of terrorism perpetrated by its citizens.

She suggests that deals of this magnitude should be reserved for more reliable partners in the War on Terror.

I'm still wondering, however, what the real risks are here: presumably for the DPW to stop running the ports for some reason (because we're defending those nasty Jews again, say) would cost them money they couldn't afford to lose. I'm still more concerned about our dependence on foreign oil than I am about this particular deal.

But let's keep talking.

UPDATE 2: Marshall Manson weighs in over at On Tap. He'd like us all to take a chill pill, too.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:11 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Blogging May Be Light

. . . until I figure out what's wrong with my computer. I'm on Attila the Hub's PowerBook right now, while mine gets over whatever little mood it's in. I'm giving it a time out so it will learn to play nice with the other kids. Especially me.

Of course, if that doesn't work it's back to the Genius Bar at the Mac store; they are so tired of me there.

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Holy shit.

I agree with Bill. [Charlton Heston voice] Darn the luck!

Islam is not the enemy; Islamo-fascism is. There are plenty of perfectly decent, sane Muslims. Like these guys, for instance.

My argument with Islam has always been that too many mainstream Muslims have failed to condemn what the jihadis are doing, but that is also changing.

Via Protein Wisdom.

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February 21, 2006


Time to sterilize my coat-hanger again.

The problem with ultra-late-term abortions is that when a exception for the "health" of the mother—excuse me: innocent victim kidnapped by vicious alien fetus—is written into the law, the phrase is often interpreted to mean "mental health," rather than "physical health." And once that interpretation is permissible, nearly every abortion can be allowed because carrying the child to term will cause the woman "distress."

(And, before everyone stampedes to either agree with me or attack me, I need to point out that I am still pro-choice. But I'm tired of seeing women buffaloed into having abortions when there are better options available. And I'd like to see a few of the "safe, legal and rare" people act like that phrase has some real meaning to them.)

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The Cotillion Ball!

. . . is hosted this week by classy Cassandra, who put it together with sass and verve. James Lileks is expected to drop by just to check out her cool mid-century graphix.

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Hitch on the Cartoon War

Writing in Slate:

There remains the question of Denmark: a small democracy, which resisted Hitler bravely and protected its Jews as well as itself. Denmark is a fellow member of NATO and a country that sends its soldiers to help in the defense and reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. And what is its reward from Washington? Not a word of solidarity, but instead some creepy words of apology to those who have attacked its freedom, its trade, its citizens, and its embassies. For shame. Surely here is a case that can be taken up by those who worry that America is too casual and arrogant with its allies. I feel terrible that I have taken so long to get around to this, but I wonder if anyone might feel like joining me in gathering outside the Danish Embassy in Washington, in a quiet and composed manner, to affirm some elementary friendship. Those who like the idea might contact me at christopher.hitchens@yahoo.com, and those who live in other cities with Danish consulates might wish to initiate a stand for decency on their own account.

Good idea.

Via James Joyner, who quotes extensively and provides worthwhile commentary, concluding:

The impulse to not offend Muslims is decent and understandable. In the context of Muslims murdering innocents over free speech, however, it is also dangerous.
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Queen vs. Led Zepp.


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February 20, 2006

The Vagina Dialogue

Darleen has some great thoughts that started as a riff on my last rape post, and took on a life of their own.

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The PorkBusters Hall of Shame

. . . has its winners up!

Hint: the grand prize winner is into wearing costumes on his off-hours. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Reynolds: "It's a dishonor just to be nominated, but I certainly do feel that the competitors have given it their all."

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Suddenly, We're Quoting Joni Mitchell

How funny that this resonated so loudly with me when I was 25 years old. I heard a snippet of it recently; what an excellent song.

There was a moon and a street lamp I didn’t know I drank such a lot ’till I pissed a tequila-anaconda The full length of the parking lot! Oh, I talk too loose Again I talk too open and free I pay a high price for my open talking Like you do for your silent mystery

. . . . . . . .

We could talk about martha
We could talk about landscapes
I’m not above gossip
But I’ll sit on a secret where honor is at stake!
Or we could talk about power
About jesus and hitler and howard hughes
Or charlie chaplin’s movies
Or bergman’s nordic blues
Please just talk to me
Any old theme you choose

. . . . . . . .

You could talk like a fool-I’d listen
You could talk like a sage
Anyway the best of my mind
All goes down on the strings and the page
That mind picks up all these pictures
It still gets my feet up to dance
Even though it’s covered with keyloids
From the slings and arrows of outrageous romance
I stole that from willy the shake!
You know--neither a borrower nor a lender be

. . . . . . . .

Is your silence that golden?
Are you comfortable in it?
Is it the key to your freedom
Or is it the bars on your prison?
Are you gagged by your ribbons?
Are you really exclusive or just miserly?
You spend every sentence as if it was marked currency!
Come and spend some on me--
Shut me up and talk to me!
I’m always talking!
Chicken squawking!
Please talk to me

And now it's possible for me to have compassion for the person I was back then. Which is pretty cool, if you want to know the truth. I no longer want to travel back in time and give that girl—ahem—a good talking-to.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:41 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Dear Europe:

World War II is over, and has been for . . . weeks. Let's get away from the whole idea of thought crimes, shall we?

When someone denies the Holocaust, the correct response is to double up in laughter.

If they incite violence, go ahead and throw the book at 'em.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Enemy

Harrell's got an article up at Wizbang! about it.

(No. I don't mean al Qaeda. I mean moving.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 19, 2006

Shotgungate vs. the Cartoon Wars

One of these stories is clearly important. The other one involves the public's right to know. Once again, I feel like I've stepped through the looking glass.

Captain Ed:

David Gregory, whose network has not even allowed a pixilated version of the Prophet cartoons to appear lest they incur the wrath of Muslim terrorists, accused the White House of censorship and coverups in supposedly hiding the shooting from the nation.

Jacoby has this correct. The media attacks those who they know will not spend much energy fighting back. Gregory could act like a rude, spoiled child denied his choice of birthday gift because he knew the White House would not dare to even expel him from the room. However, their supposed calling to keep the people informed suddenly takes a powder when the remote threat of violence appears. This only acts to encourage such threats in the future, as the nutcases take a lesson from the pusillanimity of the mainstream American media, especially in contrast with their European counterparts that have taken a stand against extortion and published the cartoons in defense of the Danish press.

When our media has the testicular fortitude to report on terrorists honestly, then they will have gained the moral authority to lecture any White House on censorship and the responsibility of fully informing the public. Until then, such demonstrations as we saw this week by the White House press corps only stands as a perverse monument to the media's hypocrisy and venality.

Via Glenn.

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Have You Ever Noticed That Latinos

. . . are just adorable when they're incensed by strong women? They jump up and down and stuff. Cute as a little button.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:29 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Civil War in Iraq

. . . is just around the corner. Really.

This coming apocalypse will feature Shiite Iraqis working with Shiite Iranians against Iraqi Sunnis—because Arabs and Persians work very well together. Unlike, say, secular dictators who hate the U.S. and religious fanatics who hate the U.S.

Just click your heels together and repeat "there's no place like home."

Via Dave Price, writing over at Esmay's site.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:49 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 5th, 2006

. . . will mark my third anniversary as a blogger. Since I never got around to moving my archives over from the old site, I'll have to celebrate by seeing to that next month.

I'm also thinking of re-running some of my old posts from the run-up to our invasion of Iraq. This is my first entry ever:

I wish people would do their homework. I wish half of those who think they oppose our impending invasion of Iraq would do basic things--like researching international law (if not "just war" theory), Saddam's atrocities, and the opinions of the Iraqis themselves, who simply want to be free. The protesters here in the U.S. rail against a government that is trying to make it possible for Iraqis to protest *their* government. As opposed to the current situation, in which Iraqis of any stripe can be imprisoned and tortured for breathing a critical word.

All the "arguments" I hear against the war so far--with the possible exception of one--have been patent nonsense. None have been based in fact. Unless you count the made-up "fact" that invading Iraq will somehow line the pockets of those in the administration who have ties to the Evil Oil Companies. The only pockets likely to get lined are those of the French and Russian companies who have contracts with Iraq and are scared that a regime change will be bad for business. (And then there are the French and Russian suppliers of material--and the French outright building Saddam a nuclear reactor.)

It's crazy. Children all over California today left their classes to demonstrate for torture. And they don't even know it. That's the amazing thing.

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SOS: Smart Left-of-Center Bloggers

I know a few, but they are so difficult to find that I'm thinking of creating a separate blogroll for them. I'm not interested in snarky remarks about how the only correct positions are center-right: I'm interested in where you see the most provocative, even seductive arguments from your left-leaning friends or adversaries. What makes you think?

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Glenn Reynolds on the Palestinian Authority

Commenting here on this post by Joe Malchow: "It really is like dealing with teenagers. Except, you know, for the murder part."


Posted by Attila Girl at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Toronto's Hoplophobes

. . . intend to outlaw tragedy.

Next to go: human nature.

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February 18, 2006

Jeff Percifield

suggests that we boycott Muslim products, and then remembers: "oh, wait — there aren't any." Ouch.

Much merriment ensues in his comments.

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What Emancipation Proclamation?

It was like a train wreck on paper. I read every disgusting word.

Via Ace.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:42 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


. . . is not a hospitable environment for peaches. I wonder if that dildo ban for the hoi polloi includes vibrators electric massagers for sore muscles.

Via Insty.

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So, the Deal with Ants is,

if you can't figure out where they're getting into the house—and you don't want to overuse the ant spray—there is this desperation measure you can take: find a spot right on or by the ant superhighway, and place a drop of honey there. Wait half an hour, and soon the part of the line that had been diffuse will be well-defined with busy, productive little ant bodies. Find the entry point, spray that with ant spray (or block it off with powder, or sewing machine oil) and then wipe the rest of the critters up in a grand moment of speciesist bigotry.

But be sure to mop up that little honey drip very thoroughly, or you'll have company again, and soon.

For more household hints, PayPal me $50 tonight and I'll think of others so fast it'll make your head spin. Don't doubt me on this.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

If You Want to See Thomas Sowell and Jeff Goldstein

perform a nice little tag-team takedown of the Legacy Media and its rather hysterical pursuit of the Vice President over that hunting accident, have at it.

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And While We're On the Subject,

Don't dick around with Oprah, either.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Don't Dick Around with Dick

Labeled, quite accurately, an "addicting" game. Don't forget to lead with those birds.

Via The American Mind.

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Well, Now There Won't Be Any Complaints.

The artwork profiled here (1) doesn't involved Mohammed at all, and (2) clearly targets those who murder in the name of Islam, rather than the majority, who practice it peacefully.

Also, it's hilarious.

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February 17, 2006

All I Want to Know, Is

"Who got to this man?


Posted by Attila Girl at 02:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Tired as I am of the Shotgungate "story," this was funny.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 16, 2006

Harrell Meditates.

You'll recall that this is when God talks back to us after we pray. But in Jeff's case the Lord makes heavy use of the vernacular:

And I was all, “If You were any less subtle, frogs would be raining from the sky.”

And You were all, “I’ve got some here, just in case.”

Yeah. I know the feeling.

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So. Blogging Man.

Is anyone going? I'm tempted, though CPAC may have used up all my time and emotional energy for overnight blog-conferences.

Still, it's close enough that I could do this one on a serious shoestring (though I stayed under-budget for the D.C. trip, mostly due to my "one meal a day" approach, and liberal use of protein bars).

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:45 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Rapeseed Oil.

Cathy Young and Jeff Goldstein are trying to have a serious discussion of rape, and how to address the current inequities in law/custom without going back to the old inequities in law/custom.

Oddly, they are each experiencing a high noise-to-signal ratio. Hm.

Next week Jeff will take another crack at abortion, and Cathy will respond. Doctrinaire gender feminists will be just as helpful in that exchange.

I can't stop thinking of the time I read aloud in my writer's group from an autobiographical piece that discussed my first experience of sexual intercourse, which happened to be by force—but by a boy I was dating, and knew would not kill or seriously injure me.

One of the women in the group was profoundly shocked at all this, and simply could not believe that the people who knew about it didn't do more to help me.

"You know," I responded, "that was pretty small potatoes compared to all the other things that were going on when I was a teenager."

This woman had heard enough from my autobiographical pieces to know that I was homeless multiple times during that era, not to mention getting attacked with a club by a close family member. Etc.

And yet, in the tradition of extreme feminists everywhere, she regarded me as simply a walking vagina with arms and legs attached to it.

How did sexual politics come to this? When did we get this far off-course?

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:52 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

The Final Word on Shotgungate

is here.

Via Glenn.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:09 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Dr. Helen

. . . has a thoughtful piece about the effects of child care. It's refreshing to read about that subject from a point of view other than the two standards (that is, "child care can save the world!" and "child care is destroying our kids!").

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Virginia Postrel Loses It.

She's joined the "Shotgungate" stampede. How strange.

Maybe she's drunk: after all, she did misspell "discreet" in that entry, which is a bit out of character for her.

In other news, my brother has—in the course of his life—broken both arms and his pelvis. I'm afraid I'm going to have to shoot him for taking risks with his own life. Catch you later; I'm headed to the Bay Area with my Glock, in the best traditions of both Islamo-fascist honor killers and loony Americans who overreact to hunting accidents.

Via Hackbarth.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:47 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Clash of Civil Liberties

Malkin on how the Islamo-fascists are racheting up the online outreach, via hacking and threats of violence against bloggers.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The U.N. and Guantanamo Bay

Look, we all have our opinions about the U.N. But they are the closest thing we have to enforcers of international law, and we should at least take what they say seriously.

Therefore, if they call on us to shut down our holding cells at Gitmo, it's important for us to at least consider it.

After some thought, I've concluded that we should indeed get rid of the Guantanamo Bay prisons, just as soon as the U.N. (1) discontinues its graft operations and (2) confines its pimping to women who are over the age of 18.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:38 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Let's Put the Blame Where It Belongs.

Squarely on Ronald McDonald.

Via Volokh via Insty.

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I Hate Myself for Lovin' You

Ace on Arianna, who's been writing about the "Shotgungate" non-story:

I'm pretty sure Michael Huffington is the one homosexual who wasn't born gay. But the poor sonofabitch just never had a chance, did he? What would you have done?

Me? Had I married Arianna Huffington? I think I'd be blasting my own friend in the face right now, if you know what I'm sayin'.

Read the whole thing, 'cause it's funnier 'n' a sonofabitch.

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Warhol Had It Almost Right.

Turns out, everyone's famous whenever Glenn gets around to it. He's got the CPAC podcast up now, including impromptu interviews with bloggers and participants, including me (no, I haven't listened quite yet: like most people, I dislike the sound of my own voice when it's been recorded).

Two interesting exchanges as we spoke right before the "tape" started rolling:

Glenn: I should link your site more. I've been thinking of doing an entire entry on "people I don't link to enough."

Joy: Don't get into the mindset that you bear the weight of the blogosphere on your shoulders.

Glenn: I'm glad you said that. Some people take it personally when I don't link them.

Why was this hilarious to me? Because most of us do feel twinges of irrational guilt from time to time, and it's interesting that Glenn isn't immune. Clearly, he tries to use his powers for good as much as possible—which I find admirable. After all, I'm not sure I do any such thing.

• • •

And there's this one, which occurred just as he moved to turn the mic on—

Joy: I've been really good about not getting starstruck, but it's starting to hit me now.

Glenn: Oh, don't do that. Blogging stars are like bowling stars: no one in the outside world cares about them.

It was a sweet thing to say. Though I doubt many bowling stars can raise millions of dollars from venture capitalists to start bowling-related businesses. Even when several of them get together.

Call me an ass-kisser, but if someone drew a nasty cartoon about Glenn, I'd really be upset.

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February 15, 2006

More on Coulter

Aw, come on, boys: let's not, um, rag on her for her looks. That's the kind of thing the lefties do.

Hackbarth has another mini-roundup, and remarks that the whole flap is "almost boring." Yeah. But if we don't distance ourselves from this woman we're no better than the lefties who defend Michael Moore's prevaricating—or those who don't closely examine the more, um, colorful arguments Pat Buchanan makes over on populist row.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


During the CPAC bloggers' main bacchanale at the Marquee Bar and Lounge—hosted by the wonderful Mike Krempasky—the subject of Stephen Glass' old work of fiction on young partying conservatives kept coming up. Several people wondered if the story itself was available online, and whether Glass had really alleged that young conservatives were cokeheads.

Oddly enough, former Wonkette Ana Marie Cox discussed that shaggy dog story in Mother Jones several years ago, debunking it and other Glass-related fact-checking fiascos.

In the snippet she quotes, the "young conservative" event was at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, but it takes place in the spring (so theoretically it wouldn't have been CPAC), and the cons in question were smoking grass rather than snorting coke. And Glass didn't appear to be making the point that a lot of conservatives are really libertarians—but rather that his imaginary right-wing friends were hypocrites.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

"Now, When You Talk About Your De-Cluttering Lady,"

Prof. Purkinje asks me, "is that the same as your life coach?"

"Of course not," I tell him. "I mean, wouldn't it be weird to have my life coach helping me clear a room out?"

"You know, whenever I mention that I have a friend in L.A. with a life coach, they say something about California . . ."

"Let it go," I respond. "People are narrow that way."

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Home today; I'm flying back to LA out of B-More this afternoon. And I loved my time in D.C.; I'm loving my time in Maryland. But I'm ready to go home, "to my own bed, where I can let go." I'm deeply exhausted—in that "tired but happy" way.

I also haven't seen my husband in a week, so I'll need to power-interact with him. I might just hug him for another full week straight, though that would make things awkward as he attempted to go about his business.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:48 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Head Over to Darleen's Place,

where she has the Cotillion Ball up—aka the Carnival of the Fiercest Babes in the Blogosphere.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Killing People Over Cartoons.

Very smart.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 14, 2006

You Know, It Can Be Remarkably Difficult

. . . to find a good Descartes joke.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ace on Why the VP Ain't No Killer

Dead men tell no tales, and Dick Cheney likes having colorful, bloody stories told about him. Usually these stories include the lines, "And then all I did was call 'shotgun' as we were heading back to the car, and Cheney says 'That's not how my Pappy taught me to play shotgun.'"


Posted by Attila Girl at 01:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 13, 2006


I'm in Prof. Purkinje's guest room, looking at photographs he's taken over the years, and a colorful piece of iguana folk art that my then-partner and I gave him as a wedding present in 1990. There's a picture on the desk of him with another biologist I know quite well. And a tin can is used as a pen holder: he's had it for years, and it alludes to a group joke from our high school days. And I'm pretty sure that another print on the wall is one I gave him 20 years ago.

So naturally, I suspect him of tweaking the decor to make me feel at home. What I don't think he tweaked is the bookcase, which is astonishing to me—not because of the coincidental overlap in our tastes, but because it suddenly hits me how many books I got turned onto through him, when one adds up the high school recommendations to the college ones to those from when we were in our twenties. This isn't even counting my two favorite mystery writers (other than Dorothy L. Sayers, of course), who between them account for a full bookshelf of mine at home, but are not represented here. And then there are the 2-3 books I've actually recommended to him. The overlap is, on the whole, tremendous. Though he has more books, and he's actually read them.

I'm a proofreader. I read slowly. And—let's face it: my eyes are bigger than my eyes. Not that that's a bad thing . . . I hope.

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So, Prof. Purkinje's son, age almost-nine, is showing me his Robo-Raptor.

"Wow," I say. I'm really impressed. "Isn't he a cutie?"

"Cute?" He's appalled.

"I meant a butch sort of cute," I tell him.

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As Long as The States Involved

are undisclosed, it's all good.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Lot of Ad Slots Free.

In particular, the "Gold" adstrip is available. And you've probably noticed that even with the copper and silver adstrips, I move 'em around to achieve the most advantageous positioning for the client. (Not for nothing was I was a managing editor at a magazine.)

Promote yourself! (Except Darrell, who's a subscriber to this site. And the other bleg-exceptions I've noted elsewhere: broke people, for example, should not give me money lest it send me to the version of Hell from of my Methodist childhood.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I Don't Want to Leave.

This is such a pretty town anyway, and right now its skeletal trees are accented with white.

The thing I dreaded most about coming out here has been the most fun: I was spooked at the idea of having to walk 15 minutes every day to the Shoreham hotel&mdash&or 20 minutes to the Metro stop—but after I got used to the fact that it's nippy here, I remembered that I love towns I can walk around in, whether it's sedate Santa Monica, the bohemian end of Chicago, or glass-and-steel-laced Manhattan.

It's been a great experience. Today, I go back to the Mall to photograph a few of the monuments in different light, and check out the war memorials (Vietnam, WWII, and the Korean War). Then it's off to Be More for a couple of days with Professor Purkinje and his family.

BTW: why do they call it a "mall"? I went down there looking for a Baby Gap or a Victoria's Secret, but they had neither. Nor even a Crate and Barrel. If you want to know the truth, I feel a bit led on.

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. . . having a little fun with the "defend Ann Coulter no matter what" crowd.

Apparently, those of us who don't like ethnic slurs are on a slippery slope: first you're objecting to the term "ragheads," and—next thing you know—you're applauding a new, worldwide Caliphate and/or submitting to the installation of Sharia law.

It's true: two days ago I got pissed off at Coulter's bigotry. Now I stop men on the street—guys with dark coloring and strong noses—and ask them if they'd consider stoning me to death.

I keep getting misunderstood, though: Most of these guys are Jewish, and nearly all of them assume I'm trying to score some weed. I keep getting pointed in the direction of Georgetown University. Sigh.

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February 12, 2006

Well, One Data Point Should Do Me, Here.

Mexican food in the nation's capital sucks. Not to the same degree that Mexican food in Europe sucks, but it's pretty lackluster stuff. My tamales last night were bland, and the salsa that accompanied our chips didn't have nearly enough cilantro in it—but did have black pepper, of all things.

And the margaritas were terrible. I mean, they used good booze, but they make them too sweet. Even ordering a Cadillac-style margarita didn't get them to dial down on the sugar. It almost tasted like they were using some kind of a goddamned mix, though that's such an outrageous thought that it could simply be that they're using a sucky recipe.

Once I realized my partners in crime were sold on the oversweet Margies, I powered a few of them down very quickly, figuring I'd need a bit of a buzz to survive the next few.

And I woke up feeling fine. Once more. What does a girl need to do to acquire a hangover in this town?

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:07 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

The Short Write-Up of Gingrich's Speech Yesterday Evening.

1) He's definitely seeking the nomination in '08.

2) He can be a very charismatic speaker. Not bland like George Allen, nor bordering on insanity, like Tom Tancredo. He creates a lot of excitement, without resorting to "wingnut code," such as talking about the New World Order.

3) Newt and his handlers have a flair for drama, and clever ideas for creating excitment and momentum.

4) A lot of his most passionate support seems to come from college-age kids who have lots of energy and clearly would be willing to put in lots of volunteer hours for a campaign.

Our best candidates are clearly Rice, Guiliani, and Gingrich. (I do not count the guy who's attacking the Bill of Rights: if it came down to him or Hillary, I might vote for Hillary. Or just stay home. I will not vote for that man.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:22 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

February 11, 2006

Lunch Today

with David Foster of Photon Courier and Chicago Boyz. What a nice man. And smart. He's semi-retired, but I've decided to label him a Maryland beach bum, because I like the sound of that. We stopped in at a Chinese restaurant and worried together over green tea about the future of Google, privacy in this country, the concept of free speech, and some other issues I'll cover later so I can pretend that his penetrating insights were really my own.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Will Someone Vid-Blog This?

Apparently, Reynolds will really be beating up on CNN tonight, but I may still be listening to Gingrich's CPAC speech around then. I'd truly hate to miss it.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:22 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Dear Denmark,

It's our pleasure: Legos and cheese all around.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:17 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 10, 2006


. . . wants to know what Ace of Spades is like. I can't say much, except that he was gallant enough to walk Wendy and me across the bridge to the block where we're staying. And that there are two types of comics: the immature, hostile type, and the mature, sweet type. Ace is the latter, but I don't think I'm supposed to say that. So: while in our presence, he did hoist one black flag, but he only slitted a single throat. Or maybe two. (Possibly a third, while I sneaked off to the ladies' room in my bare feet, looking for all the world like a Californian out of water in a fancy East Coast hotel. But I can't vouch for that third casualty.) The bartender cleaned up the mess, and that was really the end of the whole matter.

For some reason, tonight I was able to procure a few drinks that were weak enough for me to stay out a bit and act like a human being. So I spent time at the Marquee Bar with bloggers too numerous to list—though including our host, Mike Krempasky, Cam Edwards,Tom Bridge, and a few legitimate people with real jobs. Then we adjourned across the street to Murphy's, where I had potato skins and another gin and tonic, listening to Ace's jokes, Wendy's stories, Sean's anecdotes, and the vignettes of the witty guy who started Football Fans for Truth during the '04 campaign.

At one point in the Marquee, I was introduced to Jeff Harrell, who hadn't been sure he'd be here for CPAC at all. So I put down my G&T and embraced him. Somehow the person I'd been talking to got the idea that if only so-and-so introduced him, he'd get a hug as well.

Of course, that's not how it works. Sorry.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Had I Mentioned Lately That My Sister is Half-Syrian?


Well, it's true. And Ann Coulter can get fucked.

Wasn't it James Joyner who coined the moniker "our Michael Moore"?

I'll never buy one of her books.

UPDATE: Nice little roundup of right-wing outrage here.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:46 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Lunch Yesterday

. . . with my cousin Pillage Idiot, who lives and works nearby. It's always nice to meet someone whose blog I love to read: after the first few minutes, the strangeness of it all melts away, and you're cracking jokes. Look Ma—no keyboard!

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

So. Glenn Reynolds.

Sat down next to me; before he got mobbed, we had a few words. He ended up interviewing me for one of his next podcasts. What a sweet guy. It's interesting that when I've heard his voice in the past—on his podcasts and on Bill and Jeff's experimental web radio show—his Tennessee dialect appeared more muted than it does in person. (Tracking accents is among those things that I like doing, but do not do particularly well. Singing is another.)

I'm terribly tempted to buy his book while I'm at the convention, though as it is I'll have to discard most of my clothing in order to fit all of the tomes I acquired here into my suitcase.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:24 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 09, 2006

"O Oysters, come and walk with us,"

the Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant talk, a pleasant walk, Along the briny beach.
We cannot do with more than four
To give a hand to each."

The eldest oyster looked at him and never said a word.
The eldest oyster winked his eye, and shook his heavy head—
Meaning to say, he did not wish
To leave the oyster bed.

—Lewis Carroll

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:50 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

More on Illegal Immigration from CPAC

Tom Tancredo is, of course, a pistol. He's a strong speaker, and one of the important voices right now advocating for immigration reform. His stance is uncomprimising: the border must be sealed as soon as possible, he insists, using both a physical barrier and more efficient deployment of our manpower.

He talks about his experiences as a freshman congressman, bringing this problem to the attention of the country: “I wasn’t a committee chairman. By the way, I’ll never be a committee chairman. I’ve burned too many bridges around this issue.”

He voted against Katrina slush fund, he reminds us. He voted against the President’s Medicare prescription drug policy program.

And he voted against CAFTA. Why is it, he asks, that we no longer have treaties to control trade policies? All our new laws are called "agreements." Why? To pass a treaty, two-thirds of the Senate must vote for it. With a simple change in nomenclature agreements, all they need is 50% plus one vote.

President Bush, he proclaims, is in favor of open borders, and his proposed temporary worker program is sub rosa amnesty. The audience applauds. People filter into the back of the room, and stand there, listening to him speak. It is, of course, an impressive bit of speech-making.

Cheap labor, he tells us, is only cheap for the employer—not for the taxpayer. [I do hear that a lot, but I remain unconvinced, since the figures I hear are contradictory.—ed]

Tancredo has more red meat for us: “God bless Denmark," he proclaims, and the audience goes wild. "No new world order," he thunders. [Does that mean, I wonder, "no coalition-building?" Or does it mean "the Trilateral Commission is going to get my momma?" Unfortunately, NWO is another term with a somewhat flexible definition.]

"You young people are the hope of America," he proclaims. "America is something unique, an ideal worth fighting for.

I commend you to that task."

What I cannot argue with is his exquisite delivery, much as I can't bring myself to condemn every piece of wall that gets covered by his paintbrush.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:01 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

CPAC: Focus on Immigration

There are a lot of ideas out there on how to deal with the problem of our porous borders, and it seems that people are finally approaching the issue in a serious way, recognizing that the present situation is untenable.

The main two debates seem to be (1) between those who believe that some sort of guest worker program must be a component in whatever we set up, vs. those who feel that this would be tantamount to amnesty. And: (2) those who feel that enforcement of our existing laws should come first, before we address the issue of how to deal with those who already live in the "shadow world" of illegal immigrants.

James S. Gilmore talked today about the necessity to design a system to deal with immigration in a way that is humane. He maintains that we cannot take punitive action, because other miniorities might then think that "they could be next." Also, in the Hispanic areas of American cities, illegal immigrants are intermixed with legitimate immigrants, so it's more complicated to identify the illegals than one might suppose.

He insists, however, that we must control our borders, and cannot have any kind of anmesty program.

["Amnesty," of course, is becoming one of those squishy words that has at least two separate definitions, like "affirmative action"—which either does involve quotas or does not, depending upon how you feel about the issue. Everyone is against quotas, just as everyone is against amnesty. It's a question of getting more precise than that and figuring out, for example, whether we can have a guest worker program—or enhanced rates of legal immigration—without creating the kind of amnesty that only encourages a sudden, overwhelming flood during a perceived "window of opportunity."—ed.]

Some kind of guest worker program might help us to get our arms around this, Gilmore suggests, and it might be better to do that rather than simply letting the situation “drift.”

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:10 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

February 08, 2006

Between the Sheets

. . . is where I spent most of the afternoon. Last night I flew out of LAX to Chicago, where I arrived at 5-something a.m. today local time. I had just enough time to grab breakfast, which consisted of my standard Starbucks order (a grande chai latte) with a big, fat, disgusting, decadent cheese Danish. (Women who pull all-nighters for a good cause deserve cheese Danishes. That's just the way it is.)

As I got to the gate, my flight from O'Hare to Reagan National was already boarding. At the time this struck me as rather lucky; what I didn't realize is that the tight time frame between flights made it possible that my suitcase didn't make the same connection I did.

Now may be the time to tell you that I planned very cleverly for this trip, realizing that in both Chicago and D.C. I'd be indoors all of the time, so there was no reason to lug a big, heavy coat around with me on two planes. After all, before I'd actually emerge into the ambient temperature of D.C., I'd be able to retrieve my coat.

This plan was much more clever in theory than in practice, a point that was driven home to me every time the wind kicked up as I stood on the elevated Metro station waiting for the train so I could get to the hotel—wearing a long-sleeve T-shirt with a cashmere sweater over it, a hat and gloves, a scarf, and the flannel shirt that serves as my jacket when I'm in Los Angeles. I found the ensemble a bit inadequate, if you want to know the truth.

Back at the hotel, I couldn't decide if I was more hungry, or more exhausted. This dilemma was solved when I was invited out to brunch by Girl on the Right and Wonder Woman. I sort of walked briskly along with them to stay warm until we found a nice bistro, where I had pasta and Merlot, figuring that this would help me take a nap when I got back to the hotel. It worked so well that I started to get sleepy right then and there, and as I recall started babbling inchoerently, asking them how the plans for Canadian World Domination were coming along. We walked to a nearby drugstore after our "early" lunch (it was late as far as my inner clock was concerned), and stopped at a local drugstore, where they could pick up some stationary supplies they needed for their next meeting—and I looked at cheap gloves in the children's sizes that fit me. They went off to their appointment from there, and as soon as I was over my acid flashback ("oh, hey—like, look at the weave of the yarn, man") I picked up some snacks and came "home."

And then I crashed out for what was supposed to be a 2- or 3-hour nap. I woke up eight hours later at 7:00 p.m. local.

My bag arrived at the front desk about an hour ago, and I went down to get it because I'm too cheap to tip people for bringing things up to my room. (Other than that, I'm a nice person.)

And now I need to sleep enough tonight that I can get up early for the first day of Conservative Political Action Conference, which includes the ill-named "Presidential Banquet." (It's actually a Vice-Presidential Banquet, since Cheney will be there and G.W. will not, but I'm off-duty as an editor, here, so I'll let that one go.)

Please note that CPAC will pool all our blogging, and we'll also be posting to our own sites. Make sure that, in addition to the wall-to-wall Cotillion coverage, you check out Scott Schmidt's posts at Spot On.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:43 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 07, 2006

Nice Discussion of Alternate Fuels

. . . over at Dean's place. Given the extreme nature of our situation, is government interference in the market justified? I think it probably is, but if it's done, I'd like to see it done right.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


I'm headed out tonight on the redeye to D.C., to take up residence in Blogger's Alley beginning Thursday morning. I'll be attending the Presidential Banquet as a civilian, so I can socialize better with a few of the Cotillion babes.

I will need to do a bank job when I get back, since my fundraising fell a few hundred short of the mark. But that's okay. Unless someone has an alternative suggestion: after all, a bank is a Federal rap. Perhaps a jewelry store would be more practical. Anyway, I'm open to suggestions on that.

I'll try to get in some sightseeing tomorrow, and I'll have a little time on Sunday to do the same. Then it's off to Maryland for a few days, and home again home again, jiggety jog on Wednesday.

I virtually grew up in the Smithsonian during the years I lived in Md., but there probably won't be time to visit all my old haunts: I really want to see the WWII memorial, and if they're still giving tours of the J. Edgar Hoover building, I might do that.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:06 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 06, 2006

It's About Frickin' Time

How many of you are there?

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Isn't It Insulting to Islam

. . . that the French have pig-squealing contests?

I'm disappointed in the current crop of agent provocateurs— you'd think they could come up with better anti-Islamic art to "sweeten the pie." And that it would take them less than four months to "sell" their brethren on firebombs and the burning of Danish flags. (Of course, as others have pointed out, the gap between October and the current OUTRAGE! might be due to their difficulties in scrounging up so many Scandinavian flags.)

h/t: Glenn.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sometimes I Want to Whine to My Husband That,

"there's nothing to read on the internet." But I suspect that would try even his patience.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:59 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

And What Would Muslims Do

. . . if ancient artifacts precious to them were destroyed like this?

Buddhists didn't riot. They didn't firebomb anything, or threaten beheadings.

It's hard to look at the lunatic fringe of Islam and really regard this as a true religion, rather than a sick death cult. That's just how I feel right now: I don't see enough moderate Muslims getting outraged by those who do violence in their name.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Now That's Offensive.

The ultimate caricatures of Mohammed—but I've never heard the Islamic community say a word about them. Hm.

Via Goldstein, who appears to be skating on pretty thin ice.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Hate It When Jews Riot, and Americans Threaten Newspaper Editors with Decapitation.


All I want is for the Islamic and Arab worlds to grow up and join the fucking club: everyone gets parodied by newspaper satirists. If you're offended by a picture of Mohammed wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, I hope you're yelling yourself hoarse exhorting fellow Muslims to stop setting the goddamned things off. Otherwise, you deserve no respect and dishonor your faith.

Via Tom Gross, who has more here.

Thanks to Yolanda over at this thread, for pointing me to the mother lode of anti-semitic material.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 05, 2006

Mark Steyn Nails It

. . . more than Casanova:

Very few societies are genuinely multicultural. Most are bicultural: On the one hand, there are folks who are black, white, gay, straight, pre-op transsexual, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, worshippers of global-warming doom-mongers, and they rub along as best they can. And on the other hand are folks who do not accept the give-and-take, the rough-and-tumble of a "diverse" "tolerant" society, and, when one gently raises the matter of their intolerance, they threaten to kill you, which makes the question somewhat moot.

Via Never Yet Melted.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Goodbye, Betty.

James Joyner pays his respects.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What, Exactly, is the Internet For?

One possible answer.

(hat tip: Hog Beatty)

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:51 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

I Usually Ignore What Actors Do

. . . because they're silly people, for the most part. But this really crosses a line.

Via Dean, who warns against Christians getting too smug.

I wouldn't, actually. Not after some of the, um, heated arguments between (for example) Catholics and Protestants over the years. Or that small matter of the Crusades.

Paging Graham Nash. Aha! Found him.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So, Who Gets Made Fun of The Most?—Christians, Muslims, or Jews?

One opinion.

Let's see. Irreverence toward Jesus Christ: we have this. And this. This counts, I think. You'll want to turn the sound down for this. And few people, Christian or not, can resist this. Another one. And, of course, this. Don't forget this one.

This one would appear to skewer all faiths—until you consider its name.

That's going four pages into a search for "Jesus." Here's a bonus for you.

Just off the top of my head, we have a few that focus on Catholics. Like this. And this. And this.

This situation surely deserves an honorable mention. And this theme is an evergreen.

Protestants? Well, there are so many brands. But this likely qualifies. As does this. Definitely counts. I'd include this as well.

Moses: Well, there's this. And this.

With respect to Jews in general, of course, we find the most hilarious joke of all time. Ha ha. I mean, these guys just kill me. Oh, wait . . . And here's more lighthearted fun.

Four pages into a search for "Mohammed prophet" (to, ahem, distinguish the prophet from some of the colorful characters that share his name) I got this. Let's also throw this one in.

Sorry, Azmat. I just don't see it.

UPDATE: Glenn has a roundup of commentary on the Islamic double standard.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:26 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 04, 2006

Demonstrations in London Over Danish "Slander"

It doesn't get clearer than "behead those who insult Islam." Malkin has the pix of those who follow the "religion of peace." Please note that these people are living in a Western country, and taking advantage of Western education/standards of living/freedoms.

Wouldn't it be an interesting exercise to go into Muslim-run schools and check out their textbooks? We would see some major-league slander of Jews. But presumably that's different.

UPDATE: Via Glenn, Sissy Willis reports that public sentiment is turning dramatically, at least in Great Britain.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Protein Wisdom Tackles the Danish Cartoon Controversy

It appears that Goldstein doesn't like the idea of journalists being bullied with threats of physical violence into a practice of "tolerance" that places Muslims above all other religious groups on the planet:

Even now you have Kos commenters contorting themselves into positions of self-righteous progressive onanism that are a wonder to behold—suddenly, free speech is not a universal right worthy of the crafting of puppet heads and the defacing of Starbucks’ windows, but instead is a culture-specific gift that needs to be filtered through the religious precepts of the culture of the Other. Unless, of course, that “Other” happens to be, say, Evangelical Christians. In which case, such extremists MUST BE SHOUTED DOWN with free speech.

Yup. Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, Harrell tells us enough is enough, and we should stop reprinting the cartoons:

Yes. It’s all true. The Muslims who think people who draw their religious figures should be beheaded are backwards and primitive and uncivilized. Unwarranted beheading is pretty much the textbook definition of backwards and primitive and uncivilized. We can all agree about that.

But hasn’t the point been made? Haven’t we gotten the message out by now? Seriously, are we not at this point acting like school-yard bullies, making fun of that one little kid in class just to make him cry?

I just can't see it that way. In my mind, the Muslims are the bullies here, trying to force the rest of the world into granting a special status to their religion with threats of violence.

The Muslim reaction to the Danish cartoons is the equivalent of burning a cross on the front lawn of Western Civilization. And if we respect their wishes because of intimidation, we will have granted them a right to dictate what speech is acceptable all around the globe.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

There's a Nice, Sexy Post

. . . up over at Harrell's digs.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yet More on the Cartoons That Dare Not Speak Their Names

Beautiful Atrocities reprises some of his best-known Muslim-bashing p-shops.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dear Muslims:

Every religion gets made fun of: how many comedy skits feature people dressed as nuns or priests? How about the Church Lady? Evangelical Christians get it a lot—and so do Jews. Not to mention what we do to New Agers.

Or is the fuss about these cartoons all some sort of performance art? Perhaps this is a deliberate irony about the supposed slander of those who suggest that Islam isn't always "the religion of peace." The case of Theo Van Gogh, of course, suggests otherwise.

But if you're intent upon blowing us up anyway—whether you see offensive cartoons or not—what exactly is the incentive supposed to be for the Western world to hold back from pointing out that you're intent upon blowing us up?

Memo to the human race: Support Islamic Reformation. Or die.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:15 AM | Comments (141) | TrackBack

Like a Texan Should

There's some unusual introspection here from Laurence. The man has a point all of us should think about: when do we begin to see the enemy in ourselves? And what can we do to stop it?

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


. . . jumps on the bandwagon.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 03, 2006

Is This What It's Like, Being Normal?

I got the stents out today; therefore the blood and snot flow have slowed down, and . . .


I mean, deep breaths. With my mouth closed. And it takes very little effort. It doesn't make a whole lot of noise, either.

Oxygen is my friend.

Maybe Attila the Hub and I should move into a little trailer, so I can give the house to my ENT doctor/surgeon, as a small token of my appreciation.

Alternatively, I might simply send him a box of candy or a basket of fruit. (No flowers: too many allergic people go through his office.) That might be an easier sell around the household.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:06 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Attila the Hub and I finally went to see it yesterday. I'm afraid I can't judge the effects as well as I'd like: the bandage under my nose kept sending my breath up to fog my glasses. I did think I saw a few scenes where the lion appeared distinct from the rest of the scene--and therefore a smidge less real--but I could well be mistaken, and in reality it was a beautiful movie, very nicely done. (Also: we saw it at a second-run movie house, and I thought perhaps the focus wasn't perfect. But with fogged-up glasses, I was in no position to judge.)

I'm shocked that it got made because: 1) that makes the third high-budget, effects-dependent adaptation of popular books that the studios executives haven't managed to screw up and 2) the Christian overtones are so obvious. In fact, it was a very well-done evangelical movie. Nothing wrong with that, but it was startling to see it done so well. Would this film have attracted the appropriate level of capital if Mel Gibson hadn't cleaned up so handsomely with The Passion of the Christ?

It's hard to know. But I see an underground backlash occurring against the blandness and amorality of a lot of what's being produced. Even The Incredibles was a stunning piece of propaganda for family stability and healthy household interactions, and I begin to hope that the Hollywood Resistance will win out over the amiable idiocy that prevails right now.

More, perhaps, after I read the actual reviews (I try to avoid reviews before I see a movie, so I can go in as "cold" as possible). Or, perhaps, after re-reading the first volume of The Chronicles of Narnia. With the Harry Potter series, I haven't been able to be objective since the films are only a few years behind the books, and I've read all of them at least 2-3 times (with the exception of the last volume, which I've only read once). The Lord of the Rings was different: I hadn't read the books since childhood, and felt that I should hold off and therefore have more objectivity about the movies. With the Narnia series, I think I'll read each of them after its respective movie comes out.

My favorite quotation about the Narnia books comes from one of Michael Medved's kids. The way Medved tells the story, one of his daughters began taking classes on the Bible in college, and reported back to him excitedly that "the gospels are a lot like the Narnia books."

Well. They are.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Female Trouble

I used to claim that although I could be as catty and competitive as the next girl, I never ever started a feud with another woman, but only responded when others began sending me that competitive vibe.

I'm pretty sure I was full of shit about that.

There's a woman whom I admire greatly and see a few times a month. She's intelligent, beautiful, and cultured. She has a good job and can afford extremely nice clothes and expensive hair treatments.

She seems increasingly edgy with me, and my first impulse is to wonder what her damned problem is. But I know I can be as passive-aggressive as the next person. I also know that I suspected my husband of having a crush on her for a while. (He denies this.) So there's every possibility that I've been oozing animus toward her without quite admitting it to myself.

The trick is to figure out what sorts of bullshit I've been pulling, and apologize for it.

I'm too old for this shit, and it's time to nip it in the bud.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 02, 2006

What's in a Name?

My stepmother postulates that no one is ever entirely happy with his/her first name. Discuss.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:00 AM | Comments (25) | TrackBack


Trusting Hamas. What a great idea.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 01, 2006

New Horizons in Post-Presidential Careers

You like to think you earn from sweat and human toil, oh yeah.
But right now in the Middle East it's coming to a boil
And you're gonna have to face it: you're addicted to oil.

Somewhere, Robert Palmer is smiling, as Karl Rove makes plans to produce Bush's first music video, complete with a chorus line of skinny women wearing short, tight skirts.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Girl on the Right has one of the most creative Cotillion roundups I've ever seen: not only is there a theme (as usual) and interesting pix (as usual, except when I'm doing it and the images are all picked out but MT is giving me trouble), but she actually has recipes up as part of the post. Very clever.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on the SOTU Address

Via Glenn, PJM has a roundup of blogger reactions.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.

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